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The Mission of Jubilee USA Network Remains Critical April 15th, 2020
As the world’s major trade blocs and financial institutions convene over the next few days to deal with the growing coronavirus crisis, many of the largest religious institutions are urging them to protect the world’s poor by providing debt relief and additional resources.
In recent days, OMI JPIC joined 80 national religious institutions, congregations and partners in a letter organized by Jubilee USA Network to confront the coronavirus crisis. The letter was delivered to the White House, G20 and IMF.
Signers of the letter join calls from Pope Francis, the US Catholic Bishops and 165 world leaders encouraging additional resources, aid and debt relief to ensure all countries can withstand the crisis.
On a positive front, earlier this week the International Monetary Fund approved $500 million to cancel six months of debt payments for 25 of the world’s most impoverished countries: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Tajikistan, Togo and Yemen.
While applauding this move, Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network is pushing for an expansion of this list to include more countries where people live in extreme poverty.
Also reacting to this week’s events, Fr. Séamus Finn, OMI, Missionary Oblates JPIC director remarked, “the chains of financial indebtedness have imprisoned millions around the world for too many years. We need to continue to press on this critical issue which we have dodged consistently over the decades.” “This crisis may be providing us with ‘no other choice’ scenario as we recognize that we are all in this together,” he adds.
The Missionary Oblates were founders of Jubilee USA and have been active members over the years.
Read more about Jubilee USA Network’s recent actions by visiting their website.
The Debt ‘Trial of the Century’ – Vulture Hedge Funds v. Argentina February 26th, 2013US Government Files Brief Supporting Argentina Faith Community to Vigil Outside Court Proceeding on Wednesday
On February 27th, two holdout vulture funds, including Paul Singer’s NML Capital, are in a New York Federal court verses Argentina. The Financial Times has dubbed the proceeding the “‘the trial of the century’ in sovereign debt restructuring.” The US Government filed a friend-of-the-court brief noting a ruling against Argentina could make it much harder for countries in financial recovery or countries facing economic stresses to access credit and debt swaps.
The faith community and other groups, organized by Jubilee USA, will vigil out of concern for poor people affected by vulture funds during the proceeding outside the Federal 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals Wednesday, February 27th starting at 1:00 PM in New York City. Vigils will also take place in London and Buenos Aires.
“If these vulture hedge funds win, it will mean they will more aggressively target poor countries in fragile financial recovery. If we win, it will mean that it will be harder for vulture funds to target the monies that develop social infrastructure in many poor countries,” said Eric LeCompte, Jubilee USA Network Executive Director. The US Province of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate is an organizational member of Jubilee USA, and has supported debt relief work for several decades.
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Canada Holds Up Congo’s Debt Cancellation July 1st, 2010
The World Bank announced yesterday that it was postponing the Democratic Republic of Congo’s long-awaited debt cancellation, even though the country has qualified. The postponement has come about at the request of Canada, because Canadian mineral firm First Quantum is in dispute with the government of DRC over mineral rights.
The DRC has been waiting for debt relief for 7 years, while the IMF and World Bank have satisfied themselves that the country has met numerous economic conditions. Politics has come into play before – last year the IMF held up DRC’s progress through the debt relief scheme because the country was proposing to take loans from China. Congo and China agreed to reduce the amount and terms of the loans late last year.
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